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David Taub

On a Gorgeous Weekend, Granite Park Is Big Hit With Families



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The cooler weather complemented perfectly with two big activities taking place at Granite Park this past weekend — The Big Bounce America and a memorial softball tournament.
Both drew sizable, yet manageable crowds, with a $3 cover charge to enter the facility. Each event had its own entry fees as well.

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David Taub
For the families enjoying what is called the Guinness Book of World Records largest bounce house, it was a great chance for kids to jump their energy away.
The softball players said they enjoyed having a place to come together as a community.
Nobody expressed concern about the debate at City Hall and via social media over how the park is managed.

The Big Bounce America appeared at Granite Park on Sept. 7, 2019. (GV Wire/David Taub)

Softball Tournament Honors Joey Rodriguez

The three fields were occupied by teams competing in a tournament to honor one of their own, Joey Rodriguez, a construction worker and softballer who died last week unexpectedly at the age of 47 from unknown causes.
“He was a good guy, he never had a problem with anybody. He got along with everybody. You can see a lot of people out here showing their support. They loved him. He touched a lot of people,” Jason Rodriguez, Joey’s brother, said.
Willie Turner, a regular, said the softball community is a close-knit group with Fresno at its core.
“The Valley is where it’s at,” Turner said, noting that teams from all over the Valley from Sacramento to Bakersfield came out to play. “You can leave your equipment out here, and no one will steal it because we are all family.”
“It’s family,” Jason agreed.

A Safe Place

“It’s family-oriented. You see kids running around. People watch your kids … you never have to worry about stuff like that.”Willie Turner
Granite Park is the place to play for softball enthusiasts like himself, Turner said, adding that his group feels safer at Granite Park than other softball facilities.
“It’s family-oriented. You see kids running around. People watch your kids … you never have to worry about stuff like that,” Turner said.
Turner mentioned the recent homicide of a softball player in Tulare, noting it hit his community hard.
“For something like that to happen, wow!” Turner said.

Softball players compete at a tournament at Granite Park on Sept. 7, 2019. (GV Wire/David Taub)

Not Worried About Granite Park

Last week, Councilman Garry Bredefeld sounded the alarm about Central Valley Community Sports Foundation — the nonprofit which operates Granite Park, saying there is a stench, based on a critical city-initiated audit released in January. The park came up in the news again after CVCSF president Terance Frazier and a business partner received a $659,000 city subsidy for another unrelated project, the $20 million South Stadium mixed-use development in downtown Fresno.

Bredefeld said that CVCSF hadn’t lived up to their end of the deal, citing the absence of basketball and volleyball courts. While I didn’t see any basketball courts, volleyball nets are set up on the grass fields between the diamonds and soccer areas.
That audit has been heavily criticized by the Frazier camp. He filed a claim against the city, the first step before filing a potential lawsuit. He said the premature nature and errors of the audit caused $10 million in damages. Frazier later amended his claim to an undisclosed amount.
Turner, chatting between games, says he’s not fully aware, nor is he concerned, about the recent doubts cast upon Granite Park’s management.
“For us to speak on it, we need to know more information about what’s going on behind the scenes; we don’t. We do know this. The doors are being kept open by the best of our ability (as a softball league),” Turner said. “I’m not going to say they are right or wrong. I don’t know personally,” Turner said.
He added he knows Frazier, and “his character is amazing. I’ve had nothing but great encounters with the man.”

Volleyball nets at Granite Park. (GV Wire/David Taub)

A Last-Minute Deal

Frazier, on Facebook, posted that booking The Big Bounce America came with one week’s notice. He wrote that Granite Park was offered the chance to host the bounce house on Aug. 30.
“We jumped headfirst at the opportunity. Knowing that our window was narrow, with five business days to get all of our ducks in a row, we had to get right to work. In the end, staff from the city of Fresno’s planning, building, fire, and city managers departments, really went out of their way to get us to where we needed to be and even came out on Saturday morning to execute the final inspections,” Frazier wrote.
He then went on to thank the city for help putting the deal together.

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email